The Fairground Saints, an Americana trio currently on tour with Carly Rae Jepsen, recently stopped by Terminal 5 for the GimmieLove Tour. WSN had the chance to talk to the band about songwriting and the best and worst parts of making music.
WSN: Megan, you’ve worked a lot in the past teaching songwriting through global music outreach group The Young Americans. What was the most interesting thing about music that you learned from the kids you taught?
Megan McAllister: I think that it was just how universal music is, and how it can communicate so much even without dialect or without speaking the same language. Because I worked primarily with kids internationally, so they would speak Japanese and I would speak English, obviously, and I learned some Japanese over there, but still, just the fact that music has so much emotion and it communicates so strongly just by the sound of it.
WSN: What has been the hardest part of being in a band together?
Mason Van Valin: Megan’s been the hardest part so far.
MM: What?! No…
MV: The hardest part… It’s not that hard. It’s not. It’s a lot of fun. It’s the best job we’ve all ever had. You know, comparing it to other things, it seems pretty amazing. I guess to answer your question, I think sometimes we have little artistic differences in the songwriting process. Most of the time, it goes really, really smoothly. But sometimes I’ll be like, “no, I think this chorus should repeat,” and [Elijah Edwards] will be like “I get what you’re saying, but I’m telling you, it doesn’t need to do that,” and then we’ll have to figure that out. But I don’t think there’s really anything hard about it. So that’s a good problem to have.
WSN: What do you think is the hardest part about writing songs?
Elijah Edwards: For me personally, I think it’s finishing a song. I’ll have days where I’ll write 15 pieces of different songs, and then I won’t have the motivation to go back and finish them, because… it’s almost like a fear of like, they have to live up to the first verse, and it has to be continually good throughout the song. So that’s the hardest part for me — finishing songs.
MV: I think I have the same problem. Songwriting is a lot of work. Like, not physical labor, but like… there’s so much analytics that go into writing songs, especially trying to make it as fantastic as possible, that it’s really kind of tiring, and it takes a lot of focus and energy, and it takes a good deal of courage to get something to the point where you could be like, “okay, now I’m going to show this to people and see what they think.”
MM: For me, I’m really picky about the melody and the lyrics being one in the sense that they emote the same thing. So typically I’ll come up with a melody first, and the hardest thing for me is coming up with the words that match the feelings that I’m putting into the melody. It’s my favorite part and the hardest part.
Fairground Saints’ self-titled debut album is out now. Watch the music video for lead single “Can’t Control the Weather” below.
Email Hailey Nuthals at [email protected]